Session 1: Bugbears and Sleeping Goblins (7/26/18)
The party — Caelynn Amastacia the Elven Sorcerer, Ermenir Kahilda the Elven Wizard, H.H. Horns the Minotaur Barbarian, Mavthos the Tiefling Warlock, and Torner Fireforge the Dwarf Fighter — meet on the road from Triboar on their way to the tiny village of Melton. They’ve heard rumors of many goblin attacks in the past few months, all of them near Melton, and this band of old friends decide to gather forces and become adventurers.
But Frida Greatheart, the constable of Melton, blocks their way into town, and won’t let them through the gates. Mavthos tries using his Charisma, while the others try to get Frida to let them in, though she seems strangely determined to deny the possibility of any kind of goblin attacks in or near her village. At last the party convince her to let them in, and they head right for the one and only tavern in town, The Weary Knight.
Spoiler Alert! Don’t read this report if you haven’t played Troll Trouble!
Session 1, 7/12/18: Ravendale and Burt the “Troll”
Lifelong friends and first-time adventurers Kendalthe Elven Cleric (Mitch), Mavthosthe Tiefling Warlock (Drew), and ZaldoWiggletoe the Stout Halfling Monk (Dad) meet up at the Broken Plow in Ravendale for their first quest.
They find the town (about 80 miles west of Amphail) and its surrounding lands suffering from what appears to be a long drought. They meet Roanna Redmane at the tavern, and her daughter Shalia is missing after attempting to bring supplies to the beleaguered village. The heroes take up the challenge and head for Stonebottom Bridge, home to what could be an evil troll. They find a wrecked wagon, a captive horse, and an ogre named Burt eating the other horse. Gross.
In this adventure for Level 1 players, we had two completely new players to show the ropes, along with one player who’d played just a few times, and my now-seasoned players Drew and Mitch. For details, see my spoilerific Adventure Report.
Once again, we had a great time. I’m noticing a trend with these M.T. Black adventures.
This was our second M.T. Black adventure in a row, and it did not disappoint! We followed up Tower of the Mad Mage with this coastal adventure for level 2 players, and the story has a fascinating sense of history to it (see my spoilerific Adventure Report for details). This one took us about four and a half hours to complete.
Neptune (Drew), Revali (Mitch), Kirby (Caleb), and Rurik (our friend Robinson) are joined by Kazi (half-elf sorcerer, aka our friend Melissa) and Lilliana (aasimar Paladin, aka Elizabeth) at their usual table in the Driftwood Tavern in Neverwinter. As it turns out, Kazi and Lilliana have arranged for the party to meet a one-legged man named Ulfgar Longwood at the Tavern to discuss a new opportunity.
Just for kicks, the boys (aka Drew and Mitch) and I played some D&D while we were at the beach, and the adventure we played was “Troll Trouble” by Gary Whicker. We all rolled up new Level 1 characters, and I ran a character along with doing my DM duties, and we finished the quest in two session, about 6 hours total, I’d say.
It was another fun, classic-feeling one-shot (two-shot?) adventure (see my spoilerific Adventure Report for details). This adventure is aimed at characters level 1 or 2.
This was our first-ever one-shot adventure, and it was a blast! Kudos to M.T. Black for creating a slick, easy-to-use adventure for 1st level players. It definitely felt like a “classic D&D” adventure, but with some nice updates and unexpected twists. Continue reading D&D Dad: Tower of the Mad Mage (review)→
As part of this blog series, I wanted to do brief reviews of the different Dungeons & Dragons adventure we’ve played. We’re focusing on 5th edition D&D only, by the way.
TIP: For each adventure we play, I write a short recap that’s FULL of spoilers. If you’re a DM, check out the Lost Mine Adventure Report.
With these reviews I want to do more than just give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. I want to give my opinion on what I liked, of course, but also give you tips if you’re a new Dungeon Master and trying out these adventures. I want to make sure you start playing with all the tools and knowledge you need to make it a blast for everyone at the table. Even if it’s your first time as DM!
That said, the adventure that comes with the D&D Starter set, “The Lost Mine of Phandelver,” is really, really good. Let’s break it on down…
If you have the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, you can just jump into the first adventure by using the pre-generated characters that came with the set. They’ve got some classic character types in there, and it’ll save you at least and hour or two of prep work.
But… It’s SO MUCH FUN to create characters in D&D!
You can use wonderful sites like D&D Beyond to create characters, but for your first few sets of characters, I personally think you should use thePlayer’s Handbook (aka the PHB), a paper character sheet, a pencil, and your dice.
Why? Because you’ll see how the sausage is made for characters. In other words, you’ll see how a series of dice rolls and stats can fill out a character in a short period of time. And in the process of completing your character sheet, all of those +2s and -1s and other numbers will start to make sense. And that’s worth a little extra effort at first.
NOTE: I’m going to assume here in the D&D Dad Blog that you’re interested in being a DM as well as a player. If you think you only want to be a player, this information will be helpful to you as well, but some parts you might want to skim. Eventually, everyone gets to be the DM, though, I think!
What to read first?
If you’re itching to get started RIGHT NOW, you can jump in without spending a penny by downloading the Basic Rules from the people who make D&D, Wizards of the Coast.
Look over the rules for characters first, and then, if you want to be a DM, skim through either the DM’s rules from the Wizards of the Coast site or the adventure that comes with the Starter Set, The Lost Mines of Phandelver (it’s a good one — check out our review).
You might also want to look at some of the short, “one-shot” adventures at the DMs Guild, which are adventures you can finish in 4-6 hours, give or take. Those shorter adventures are usually easier for new DMs to wrap their brains around, and they’re great for new characters as well, because they’re self-contained and have relatively simple goals.